Freshly ground coffee. Sweet cinnamon. Unmistakable oregano. The magical aromas of
Greece are some of the strongest sunny memories you’ll collect. Arguably, it’s the food you
eat that you remember in years to come: that frothy iced coffee you sipped in the Cretan
village, the mindblowing tzatziki you sampled at that family restaurant with the wonky chair,
the softest fish you devoured by lamp light by the quay.
What do locals eat in restaurants in Greece?
The best restaurants in Greece only offer one type of cuisine: avoid places with lengthy
menus listing everything from Greek food to pizza, pasta, burgers and everything in between.
Chances are, the quality will be average. If you’re feeling bamboozled perusing the local
dishes a menu in Greece, then there are a few that won’t fail you. The most common savoury
dishes to try are:
- Simple, fresh Greek salad. Think plump tomatoes, cucumber, purple onions, feta cheese
- and plenty of black olives.
- A classic moussaka: an oven-baked combination of sliced aubergines, minced meat,
- tomato and bechamel cheese.
- Stewed meat such as beef, chicken or lamb in tomato sauce (kokkinisto), or pork with
- celery in an egg-lemon sauce.
- Taramasalata (creamy smoked fish roe blended with olive oil and lemon).
- Vegetables cooked in olive oil and tomato and herbs (lathera).
- Tomatoes and peppers stuffed with rice (gemista).
- Anchovies or sardines (salted or marinated).
- Boiled greens (horta) with rich feta cheese.
- Tzatziki (a refreshing dip served with gyros or kebabs).
For sweet-toothed travellers, there are some unmissable desserts to sample:
- Deep-fried doughnuts (loukoumades) are bite-sized delights served warm and drizzled
- with honey then dusted with cinnamon. They’re free of calories too (wink wink).
- Chewy, fluffy almond cookies that are crisp on the outside named amygdalota – like a
- cross between macaroon and amaretti. Very moreish.
- A classic baklava: mouthwatering filo and honey-based desserts.
- Traditional walnut cake with aromas of cloves and cinnamon (karidopita).